Re: [MedievalSawdust] Is this book any good?
There are a couple of unique aspects to the Glastonbury chair. One is the carving - including the name of the man* it was made for, and the year. It's extremely rare to find a date on medieval furniture, and AFAIK this is the sole specimen on which the owner's name appears.
The other is the way the seat and back go together. In all other examples of this style, the seat is narrower than the back, which allows the arms to be parallel. The Glastonbury chair, as currently configured, has the seat wider than the back, so the arms must cant at an angle to the rest of the structure. This greatly (and unnecessarily) complicates construction.
There are thousands of copies of this chair in England, especially in the West and South. Beginning in the Gothic Revival era of the 19th century, these came to be identified as a "church chair" and repros were furnished to churches and cathedrals for all kinds of uses.
* A monk of Glastonbury, John Arthur Thorne. He was later hanged, along with the Abbot.
Alex Haugland wrote:
I am unsure what you mean by the glastonbury chair being unique... When I was last in the UK, we drove around quite a bit and saw several chairs of this style in cathedrals and churches all around the UK... I certainly can't speak for the provenance of those chairs and they may have been 19th or even 20th century copies of the period design...